What’s your ChexSystems Score? More importantly, did you know you had a ChexSystems Score? ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency just like Experian, Equifax and Transunion.
And, just like the three major consumer reporting agencies, they produce a score based on the information contained in your ChexSystems file. But there’s a catch with ChexSystems, it only contains negative information unlike a credit report, which establishes a history of good and bad behavior.
ChexSystems is meant to determine if someone should be given a checking account at a bank or credit union.
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A ChexSystems Score can range from 100 to 899. The higher the score, the lower the risk to a potential bank, credit union, lender or credit card company. The ChexSystems Score is based on the information reported to ChexSystems. Your overall credit and debit history is contained in your ChexSystems file.
The following is in no way complete but it does contain some of the types of information found in a ChexSystems file:
- Delinquent or derogatory credit behavior.
- Delinquent or derogatory credit behavior on installment trades.
- Previous debit inquiry history.
- Delinquent or derogatory credit behavior on trades opened last 24 months.
- Paid and Unpaid insufficient fund items (“NSF”).
- Excessive “NSF” charges, even though you may have covered all of those charges.
- Checking account habits that your bank may consider negative.
- Any kind of Fraud.
- Uncollected overdrafts, ATM transactions or automatic payments the bank paid.
- Abuse of Debit Card, Savings Account or ATM Card.
- Violation of any banking rules and regulations.
- Opening an account with false information.
- Excessive ChexSystems Inquiries.
If you have no negative banking history, you may not have a ChexSystems score. That’s because ChexSystems bases its ChexSystems score on negative banking habits.
What companies use ChexSystems Consumer Scores
Banks, credit unions, other financial institutions, and even some credit card companies use a ChexSystems score to help determine whether they should extend a bank account or credit to you. Potential banks and lenders use your ChexSystems report and score to see how you managed past credit obligations. Plus, if a bank extends credit to you, a ChexSystems report and score helps to determine the terms. Banks that don’t use ChexSystems may use Early Warning Service or a credit report to determine eligibility.
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How to order your ChexSystems Score
The FCRA gives you the right to check your ChexSystems Score free of charge. Or, if you’ve been denied a bank account or other product based on your ChexSystems score, that company may send you a letter containing your score. Additionally, if you are denied because of adverse information you are entitled to a free copy of your ChexSystems report if requested within 60 days of denial. Here is how to get your free ChexSystems Score:
1. Visit the website ChexSystems.com.
2. Input basic information such as your Name, Birthdate, Current Address and Social Security Number.
3. Press Submit and ChexSystems will give you a request confirmation number and mail you a copy of your ChexSystems score.
Can a ChexSystems Score be Improved?
The short answer is yes. But approaching the issue of improving your ChexSystems consumer score should be focused on eliminating banking habits and behavior that may be lowering your score. For instance, if you have frequent overdrafts work on balancing your account to avoid overdrafts or maintain an overdraft protection account.
If you receive a denial letter based on ChexSystems it will include key factors affecting your score. Review the key factors as these are the main elements lowering your score. You have the right to dispute inaccurate, erroneous, and outdated information in ChexSystems. Information in ChexSystems can remain for 5 years.
How to Improve Your ChexSystems Score
Here are a few more actions that may help improve your ChexSystems Score.
- Stop bouncing checks.
- Don’t overdraft your account – set up overdraft protection.
- Don’t open or close bank accounts too often.
- Don’t engage in any fraudulent or suspected fraudulent behavior.
- Don’t close accounts that have a negative balance.
- Pay any debt owed to the bank.
- If you have paid a charged-off debt request the bank update the debt to paid or delete it.
- Next, focus on addressing the negative remarks on your report which could be dragging our score down.
- If you’ve got a negative balance, for example, pay off anything you owe to the bank to clear the debt.
Consider Second Banking If You’ve Been Denied
Second chance banking offers checking accounts that are designed for people who have a negative banking history. These accounts are meant to give you a fresh start with banking.
Many credit unions offer second chance checking accounts along with some major banks. Most financial institutions with second chance checking have a monthly service fee on accounts. When choosing, compare the fees and features for each account to see which offers fit your financial needs.
Dispute errors in ChexSystems
ChexSystems must investigate disputes the same as credit bureaus because they are a consumer reporting agency. Dispute rules under the FCRA apply with ChexSystems. If you find errors or mistakes submit a dispute.
Consumers have the right to dispute errors with both ChexSystems and with the bank or credit union who supplied that information. ChexSystems must work with the banks to investigate consumers’ disputes of inaccurate information on their reports.
If errors are discovered, they are required to update that information. Keep in mind that it can take up to 30 days for this to be completed. If ChexSystems or the bank is unable to verify the information, it must be deleted.